The stereotype of millennials, those born between the early 1980s and 2000, is of young adults who dream big but yet seem reluctant to take risks and put in the hard work necessary to achieve their goals.
But as millennials gain influence in the workplace, churches and not-for-profit organizations need to reevaluate their stewardship outreach efforts to ensure their message connects with the unique perspectives of this next generation.
When it comes to motivating millennials to give, ministries and non-profits need to anticipate their questions: Will my donation make a difference? How can I actively get involved? Who will benefit from my giving? How will my money actually be used?
“What motivates millennials is a desire to affect THEIR cause through YOUR organization with their friends,” explains Derrick Feldmann, creator of the Millennial Impact Project and CEO of Achieve, a research and marketing agency. Millennials prefer giving to causes rather than organizations. Organizations must clearly communicate the mission and purpose of their causes to help millennials decide if their passions align.
Millennials are also motivated to invest when they see the results of their giving.
Consider TOMS and its “One for One” model. For each TOMS item purchased, the company helps a person in need. Plus, TOMS uses its website and social media platforms to share pictures, videos and stories of people directly impacted from the donations. Like TOMS, churches and not-for-profit organizations should use all available platforms to share the outcomes the donations make possible.
Millennials are also more likely to support causes that offer involvement beyond monetary support. Many millennials want to actively devote their time — along with their money — to make a difference in the world. To do this, organizations must be willing to think outside the box to create opportunities for engagement with the organizations receiving their donations.
As a whole, millennials will be the most educated and technologically advanced in history, presenting both new challenges and opportunities for organizations seeking to appeal to this new generation of donors.
Sara Allen is ministry support coordinator for the Missouri Baptist Foundation.